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GovDelivery

Using SPF Records to Improve Email Deliverability

GovDelivery Communications Cloud is the world’s leading email subscription management solution designed specifically for the public sector. Maintaining our reputation requires us to keep our “fingers on the pulse” of email deliverability trends to ensure that the emails we send on behalf of clients reach their intended recipients without being blocked or marked as unsolicited. One of the methods we use to accomplish this is the use of Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records.

What is an SPF Record?

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is a simple way for receiving mail servers to verify that mail sent from a specific domain is indeed being sent by an authorized sender. For example, if you own the domain info.organization.gov, your SPF record lowers the chance of someone pretending to send mail on your behalf using a fake email address, like spammer@info.organization.gov.

In this case, you are adding GovDelivery Communications Cloud to your SPF record to indicate that it is authorized to send email on your behalf. This ensures that your bulletins sent out of Communications Cloud hit their mark.

What Do I Need to Do?

Clients who want to send Communications Cloud bulletins from their own email domain (e.g., @info.clientdomain.gov/com) will need to create a domain server record (DNS), called a “Sender Policy Framework” (SPF) record, authorizing us to send email on your behalf.

Why Do I Need to Create an SPF Record?

  1. The ISP checks to see if the domain listed publishes an SPF record.
  2. It checks to see if the sender of the email is listed as an authorized sender for this domain. Messages that do not pass these two tests may be blocked or placed in a bulk mail folder.

Is There an Alternative to Creating an SPF Record?

Yes. You can change your “from” address in Communications Cloud to xxxxxx@public.govdelivery.com. Granicus publishes an SPF record that covers any message sent with a “from” address in the @public.govdelivery.com domain. To change your "from" address, you can submit a new request in the top right corner of this page and our Support team will be glad to assist you.

What if My Domain Can’t Be Used for Sending Communications Cloud Mail?

It is recommended that clients create a sub-domain specifically for sending mail through Communications Cloud. An example would be @subscriptions.domain.gov/com. You’ll need to set up an SPF record for the sub-domain by following the steps below.

How Do I Create an SPF Record?

To create an SPF record:

  1. Determine who within your organization is responsible for making changes to your email domain.
  2. Ask this person to add a new DNS record of type TXT with the following value:
v=spf1 a mx include:public.govdelivery.com -all

What Happens Next?

Your Granicus Account Manager needs to know the exact email alias to be used as the “From” email address in Communications Cloud. An example is updates@subscriptions.domain.gov/com. Your Account Manager will apply the “from” address to your account in Communications Cloud, and run tests to verify that set-up is complete.

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